PSAA is today initiating a market engagement process, that will run from 1 to 30 June 2020, to seek views and feedback from audit firms registered with ICAEW or ICAS as local auditors under the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. The aim is to hear from potential suppliers about their preferences in relation to the nature and shape of a possible further procurement, to complement the audit services contracts let by PSAA in 2017.
PSAA believes this market engagement process is a natural next step following the publication of the independent Touchstone Renard report commissioned by PSAA which reviewed the sustainability of the local government audit market. The report highlighted a number of key factors including the unprecedented scrutiny and significant regulatory pressure on the auditing profession; the challenges of a demanding timetable for publication of audited accounts; and the impacts of austerity on local public bodies including its consequences for the complexity of issues auditors face and its effect on the capacity of local finance teams.
PSAA hopes that registered audit firms will support the market engagement process and provide views and feedback to inform its consideration of whether a further procurement would be appropriate in order to try to attract additional, good quality capacity into the market, and if so, how such a procurement might best be designed.